82games.com is an awesome NBA advanced stats database.It tracks the performance of five-man units — which lets you see what combination of players is the most and least effective for a given team. And it also tracks custom stats like “bad passes” and “dunk percentage” that no one else really pays attention to.
Yesterday, the site got its 2012-13 season database up and running, and we’ve been clicking around on it all morning.
Here’s what we learned so far:
1. The Oklahoma City Thunder’s starting lineup is actually their worst lineup.
OKC is ~11 points per 100 possessions worse than their average (-3 vs. +8) when the starters are on the court. And the main reason is Kendrick Perkins. The Thunder are an unreal 21.6 points per 100 possessions better when Perkins is sitting on the bench. As you can see, the lineup that plays the most plays the worst for OKC:
And here’s OKC with and without Perkins:
2. LeBron James is out-of-this-world in the clutch.
He’s shooting better (67% vs. 55%), getting to the foul line more (25% vs. 10%), and generally taking over when the game is within five points with 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter. His 141.3 offensive rating in the clutch is ridiculous.
3. Carmelo Anthony is much better at power forward than he is at small forward.
It’s not even close offensively. He scores more (+10 points per 48 minutes at power forward), shoots better (50% vs. 40%), rebounds more, and is way more efficient (25.4 PER vs. 19.9 PER)
4. Joakim Noah might be the most important player to his team out of any fringe contender.
The Bulls are a mind-blowing 21.5 points per 100 possessions better when he is on the court. Noah has always been known as a defensive force, but even the Chicago offence is significantly better with Noah this year.
If these stats hold, and Noah really is an impact player on both ends of the court, the Bulls can stay in contention for a playoff spot in the East.
5. Jamal Crawford was secretly an amazing pick-up for the Clippers.
A lot of people criticised it at the time, but Crawford has been great for the Clips. LA is way better (17.3 points per 100 possessions) with him on the court, and he’s playing well defensively, holding opposing 2-guards to a relatively low 22.2 points per 48 minutes.
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